Of all the London Michelin star restaurants I have visited, Chez Bruce wins my favourite. Both meals I have experienced here have been the perfect balance between fine cuisine and deliciously tasty food. Bruce proves that Michelin meals don’t have to be pretentious and overly experimental to win prizes. Located just a short walk from Wandsworth Common train station, the venue is less challenging to find than many may think and is only a brief journey from Victoria. The nearby green is perfect for an after lunch stroll.
Chez Bruce is part of a trio of wonderful London restaurants, which includes La Trompette in Chiswick and The Glasshouse in Kew. La Trompette is also a favourite of mine, and I have heard very good things about The Glasshouse. All three pride themselves on providing honest, exceptional food, prepared immaculately with a strong French influence.
A small and unassuming dining room is the home of Chez Bruce, it feels like you are eating in a cosy sitting room with simple design and comforting decor. The clientele seems to range enormously from young food enthusiasts to older knowledgeable restaurant regulars. It is clear immediately that every food lover is welcome here, and it emanates a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
The wine list is affordable and varied with something for every palate. Unexperienced and impressionable in this department, both times we have opted for simple fresh white and the champagne… and have found them to be delicious and very drinkable. Before the three courses begin, guests are treated to parmesan shortbread biscuits and ultra soft rosemary focaccia bread, they are both so good I would come to the restaurant just for these!
After two visits we have tried far too much incredible food to list here but a few favourites stand out. Salad of pork belly with jerusalem artichokes, salsa verde, chorizo, watercress and crackling was a beautifully constructed dish made from carefully selected ingredients, the meats and vegetables matched perfectly to create an addictively good starter. Tagliatelle of chanterelles with salsify, thyme and parmesan was another miraculously tasty dish, startlingly simple but just so good with homemade pasta and the creamiest, lightest sauce you can imagine.
For mains we have sampled amazing Venison loin with shoulder vol au vent, spiced carrot puree and sauce poivade which was a glorious wintery meaty recipe. Roast phesant with bacon and onion dumpling, brussel sprouts, chestnuts and sage was a brilliant version of the familiar festive meal, with every component beautifully cooked and seasoned.
The desserts at Chez Bruce are simple and stylish. Classics include an exquisite creme brulee, and more unusual ideas include a refreshing Yorkshire rhubarb and vanilla cheesecake with mandarin sorbet and orange zest or for cocoa lovers, a dangerously luxurious Hot chocolate and almond pudding with praline parfait. The meal finishes with a pot of homemade chocolate truffles which you can eat in the restaurant or take away as a little momento of the meal.
Bruce doesn’t just provide delicious food for hungry foodies, he inspires food lovers to try his easy recipes to create these amazing dishes themselves. I am a convert, and as soon as I have my own kitchen will be using his cookbook on a regular basis.
More information here: www.chezbruce.co.uk/